Reviews of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

A novel

by Gabrielle Zevin

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin X
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
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  • Published:
    Jul 2022, 416 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl
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About this Book

Book Summary

In this exhilarating novel by the best-selling author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry two friends - often in love, but never lovers - come together as creative partners in the world of video game design, where success brings them fame, joy, tragedy, duplicity, and, ultimately, a kind of immortality.

On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn't heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won't protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.

Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin's Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.

Chapter 1

Before Mazer invented himself as Mazer, he was Samson Mazer, and before he was Samson Mazer, he was Samson Masur—a change of two letters that transformed him from a nice, ostensibly Jewish boy to a Professional Builder of Worlds—and for most of his youth, he was Sam, S.A.M. on the hall of fame of his grandfather's Donkey Kong machine, but mainly Sam.

On a late December afternoon, in the waning twentieth century, Sam exited a subway car and found the artery to the escalator clogged by an inert mass of people, who were gaping at a station advertisement. Sam was late. He had a meeting with his academic adviser that he had been postponing for over a month, but that everyone agreed absolutely needed to happen before winter break. Sam didn't care for crowds—being in them, or whatever foolishness they tended to enjoy en masse. But this crowd would not be avoided. He would have to force his way through it if he were to be delivered to the aboveground world.

Sam wore an...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Zevin is a long-time gamer, and her knowledge of what draws people to video games and what goes into making them rings true. She understands that game-playing, and game-making, are a kind of storytelling, and perhaps that is what draws her to write about this world. What Sadie, Sam and their creative partners do feels not that different from the worldbuilding that novelists undertake (minus all the programming know-how). Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, as the title suggests, is about the power of new beginnings, of the hope that's inherent in starting over, and how stories, games, and the best kinds of friendships can give us infinite new lives...continued

Full Review (741 words).

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(Reviewed by Norah Piehl).

Media Reviews

New York Times
Delightful and absorbing...Zevin burns precisely zero calories arguing that game designers are creative artists of the highest order. Instead, she accepts that as a given, and wisely so, for the best of them plainly are...Expansive and entertaining...Dozens of Literary Gamers will cherish the world she's lovingly conjured. Meanwhile, everyone else will wonder what took them so long to recognize in video games the beauty and drama and pain of human creation.

Washington Post
Zevin provides alluring descriptions of the products that Unfair Games creates, and she includes just enough technical detail to make us feel as if we may understand what a graphics engine does, but she rarely exploits the gaming structure much in this conventionally told novel. That stylistic and formal restraint makes a pair of pivotal chapters stand out even more dramatically...[S]he's written a novel that draws any curious reader into the pioneering days of a vast entertainment industry too often scorned by bookworms. And with the depth and sensitivity of a fine fiction writer, she argues for the abiding appeal of the flickering screen.

Wired
Utterly absorbing...Until I read Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, I had never heard of anyone playing games the way my husband and I play games, the way that Sam and Sadie do—on campaign mode but passing the controller back and forth. It takes a shattering lack of ego to play this way, knowing that someone else has the power to make a decision that would change the storyline or garner the skills to play through certain sequences that you'll never see again. All that matters when you play like this is that you're moving forward, and you're together.

BookPage
It's impossible to predict how, exactly, you'll fall in love with Gabrielle Zevin's novel Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, but it's an eventuality you can't escape...Her artistic, inclusive world is filled with characters so genuine and endearing that you may start caring for them as if they were real. Above all, her development of Sam and Sadie's relationship is pure wizardry; it's deep and complex, transcending anything we might call a love story. Whether you care about video games or not is beside the point. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is the novel you've been waiting to read.

Guardian
This is a boy meets girl story that is never a romance – though it is romantic…Zevin blurs the lines between reality and play...Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is an artfully balanced novel – charming but never saccharine. The world Zevin has created is textured, expansive and, just like those built by her characters, playful.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Sure to enchant even those who have never played a video game in their lives, with instant cult status for those who have.

Library Journal (starred review)
Zevin creates beautifully flawed characters often caught between the real and gaming worlds, which are cleverly juxtaposed to highlight their similarities and differences. Both readers of love stories and gamers will enjoy. Highly recommended.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
[Zevin] returns with an exhilarating epic of friendship, grief, and computer game development… This is a one-of-a-kind achievement.

Author Blurb Erin Morgenstern, author of The Starless Sea
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a beautifully wrought saga of human connection and the creative process, of love and all of its complicated levels. A gem of a novel, intimate yet sweeping, modern yet timeless. Bits of this book lingered in my head the way ghosts of Tetris pieces continue to fall in your mind's eye after playing.

Author Blurb John Green
Utterly brilliant. In this sweeping, gorgeously written novel, Gabrielle Zevin charts the beauty, tenacity, and fragility of human love and creativity. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is one of the best books I've ever read.

Author Blurb Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage
Gabrielle Zevin has written an exquisite love letter to life with all its rose gardens and minefields. With wisdom and vulnerability, she explores the very nature of human connection. This novel, and its unforgettable characters, know no boundaries. To read this book is to laugh, to mourn, to learn, and to grow.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

The Oregon Trail Video Game

Oregon Trail computer game screenshotBefore they became video game developers, the main characters in Gabrielle Zevin's Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow were kids growing up in the 1980s, and like countless other Generation X kids, one of the first video games they fell in love with was The Oregon Trail. Many people of this age group probably remember hunting for deer and buffalo, trading for supplies, and possibly dying of dysentery on a westward journey to the Oregon Territory — all from the comfort of the Apple II computers in their school computer labs.

The Oregon Trail is actually older than most people might know. The idea for the game was initially conceived in 1971 by a group of recent college graduates, one of whom, Don Rawitsch, later got a job at the ...

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